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Posts Tagged ‘grief’

Being Fearsome: Motherhood, Grief, and Unexpected Grace

By Joanna Penn CooperNovember 5, 2019

The day before my uncle John’s funeral, I sleep most of the day after school drop off, the night before having been largely consumed by anxiety and grief, a mind untethered and roaming. I wake up to a voicemail from the vice principal of my son’s school, telling me that there has been an incident…

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How to Celebrate at Death

By Peggy RosenthalOctober 23, 2019

Not every death calls forth celebration. But when the loss is of someone who was granted the gift of a long, good life, it’s that life that we can celebrate. I’m moved to ponder this gift—and how we who remain can celebrate it—because during a single week this past summer, I went to three different…

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Children Need Stories That Tell the Truth About Life and Death

By Rebecca Bratten WeissSeptember 6, 2019

Stories that offer an easy answer to life’s sorrows may seem soothing so long as we remain privileged, cocooned, unaware of the violence of human history, but stories that leave us troubled and uncertain are the ones we can take with us when we are exiled from this narrow shelter.

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Between Friends: Raymond Carver’s “Viewfinder”

Decades ago, in Orange County, California, Jennifer Hawk and Tania Runyan shared a number of high school classes but traveled in different social circles. Tania was scary-nerdy-awkward—E.T. and Laura Ingalls’ lovechild—and Jen was scary-sexy-cool—black eyeliner, skateboards, and bands Tania couldn’t pronounce. But they’ve developed a deep relationship over the years, sharing their lives and their…

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Holy Ground

By Ryan MatthewsMay 16, 2019

John’s Gospel describes a pool outside Jerusalem called Bethesda where sick and busted people waited, watching the water’s surface for agitation. They believed angels stirred the pool, charging it with healing powers. I imagine some died waiting: dehydrated and rank, beside a pool they dared not enter before its sanctification. “And one day,” Annie Dillard…

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Hummingbird: For Rachel Held Evans

By D.L. MayfieldMay 9, 2019

A few weeks ago I saw a hummingbird on my back porch for the first time. It hovered in front of me, just a few feet from my face, as if it desperately wanted to be noticed. I get it, I said aloud. And then I gasped, because it really was so beautiful, shiny and…

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So Who Mothers the Mothers?

By Joanna Penn CooperApril 22, 2019

“So who mothers the motherswho tend the hallways of mothers, the spill of mothers, the smell of mothers, who mend the eyes of mothers” –Catherine Barnett, “Chorus” On Easter, I go to my son’s father’s house—Sundays are one of his days—and watch my son enjoy his basket, which I spun from thin air the night…

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Poetry Friday: “In Song the Words are Fruit, in Prayer Blight”

Spring feels obscene in the face of grief, either anticipated or past, and the speaker’s observations  in this poem give readers permission to voice that dissonance, to watch bloom, and to feel the weight of a stake driven into the earth while they remain slow in the bustling season, wondering quietly where the “rungs the light has laid down” lead and if they should follow.

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Please Keep Doors Closed: A Methodist Mourns

By Martha ParkFebruary 28, 2019

My parents were supposed to spend the last week at the United Methodist Church General Conference in St. Louis. Dad, who’s served as a UMC minister for the past forty-two years, joked that he wanted to be there to see the church either go down in flames or rebuild itself from the ashes, depending on…

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The Shadow of Eternal Life: A Eulogy for a Chicago Cement Mason

By Brad FruhauffFebruary 20, 2019

I was sitting on the bed in my grandma’s studio apartment. My mother and grandmother were on the fancy electronic couch with the motorized recliners and USB ports. We were a little cramped and rather warm because Grandma kept the temperature near 80 degrees. Grandma was crying again.“I keep thinking he’s going to walk through…

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